The most important part of your British passport application is the preparation of a biometric passport photo. When you come to take this picture, you have to be aware of a large range of stringent passport photo guidelines that must be followed if your application is to be accepted. Among these regulations are rules referring to how you style your hair.
In this short guide, we will help you decipher the passport photo hair requirements so you can relax in the knowledge that your photo will be acceptable to the Passport Office.
Passport photo hair rules
The golden rule of posing for a passport photo is to make sure that you can clearly see your face in the picture so that you are easily recognisable. Additionally, the biometric data contained within the chip in your UK passport mainly covers the features of your face. The importance of seeing your face applies to many facets of the photo guidelines but is particularly pertinent with regard to hair. Here’s everything you need to know:
Passport photo facial hair
The passport authorities will accept photos with facial hair, for example, a moustache or beard, provided it doesn’t obscure your facial features, e.g. your eyes and eyebrows.
Passport photo hair requirements hair on neck
The Passport Office will allow you to take a passport photo with hair on your neck, i.e. a beard. As long as the eyes remain visible, there will be no impact on your photo, because of the biometric chip’s emphasis on facial structure.
Passport photo hair covering eyebrows
It’s important to make sure your hair is not obscuring your face. More specifically, this means you need to make sure that your eyebrows are still visible. We recommend that, if you have long hair that may obscure your features, you should tie it back to ensure it doesn’t fall across your face.
If you have a long fringe that may hide your eyes or eyebrows, it may also be a good idea to secure it away from your face. Tying your hair back will have the added benefit of eliminating the risk of shadows being cast on your photo.
Passport photo hair out of frame
In order to ensure that your photo is accepted, you need to have as much of your head in the frame as possible. The Government guidelines state that you don’t have to have all of your hair in the picture, but if your hair might cover your face or cast a shadow, it may be a good idea to tie your hair back, to ensure that your face remains in the shot when you take the picture.
Dyed hair passport photo
The colour of your hair will not affect your passport’s biometrics, so it is ok to have dyed hair in your photo. You can have blue, purple, even green hair, it makes no difference in passport photos.
Passport photo hair cut off
Having your hair cut off won’t affect your passport photo, as your face will be clearly visible, and it is this that is important for the biometric data.
Passport photo with white hair
As mentioned above in the case of dyed hair, the colour of your hair will not affect your passport’s biometrics.
Looking for more tips to get that perfect passport photo? Try reading our other articles:
Biometric photos for your passport
Now your hair is properly styled, you’re ready to take that picture. For peace of mind, use the Passport Photo Online photo tool, rather than a photo studio or photo booth, and you can benefit from the advantages of our system:
- You can always get a photo you are satisfied with. Let’s face it, bad hair days can strike at any time. You need a flexible system that will let you account for these moments. Passport Photo Online understands! We’ll let you upload as many photos as you want, free of charge, and you’ll only pay for the final shot.
- We can validate your picture. Our sophisticated photo app, working with our human workers, allows us to scan your picture to ensure it fits the criteria. If it doesn’t, and we can’t edit it ourselves, we’ll give you a list of changes you need to make, so you can be confident in your final product.
- It’s flexible. By using our website, or the app, you can upload photos at a time and place you want, with no need for scheduling conflicts with photographers or booking time to find a photo booth. We work around you.
- Acceptance guaranteed. We’re so sure that the passport authorities will accept our work that we’ll refund you double if you get rejected because of the photo!
Once you break them down like this, the passport photo hair requirements are actually really simple. As mentioned above, most of them revolve around keeping your eyes uncovered. Keeping these regulations in mind is crucial when you come to take your passport photo, as it will ensure that your photo is accepted and save you a lot of time and hassle on reapplying for your passport. Get it right the first time, and soon you’ll be more than ready for your next trip.
Passport photo hair regulations: FAQ
Read through the following questions to learn specific details related to this topic.
Can my hair feature in my passport photo?
Yes! Provided it doesn’t cover your face, you can have your hair in your passport photo. It’s not essential to have all of it in the picture.
Can you have a beard in your passport photo?
If you have a beard or any other form of facial hair, it would not impact your photo.
Do you have to have your hair tucked behind your ears for passport photos?
The UK Government recommends having your hair tied back for the purposes of keeping your hair out of your eyes. It’s only essential if there’s a risk of your face being obscured.
Can you wear a wig in UK passport photos?
If you wear a wig, you are allowed to wear it in your photo, provided you don’t allow it to cover your face.
Are you allowed to have a fringe in a passport photo?
You can have a fringe in a passport photo provided it doesn’t cover your eyes and eyebrows. If it looks like your fringe will cover your eyes in the photo, you need to brush it out of your face when you come to take it.
Can you wear a headband in a passport photo?
No, you cannot. Headbands may obscure part of your forehead or cast a shadow on your face. Only head coverings for religious or medical reasons are currently permitted.
Do I need a new passport if I shave my head?
No, you don’t. Biometric data does not take hair length or colour into account. Border officials can still identify you with your passport photo if you are going bald or recently shaved your head.
Passport photo hair behind ears–is it required?
Having your hair behind your ears is recommended to prevent it from obstructing your face. Current UK passport photo regulations state that there cannot be any hair across the eyes or shadows on the face. Keeping one’s hair behind one’s ears prevents both of the aforementioned conditions from occurring.
Can you have dyed hair in your passport photo?
Yes, you can. Hair colour does not matter for biometric passport photos. What is important is that the hair is not casting a shadow or obstructing your face in any way.
A Hair clip on a baby passport photo–is it allowed?
When it comes to taking baby passport photos, it’s important to remember that no visible accessories are allowed. This includes hair clips, bows, elastic bands, or any other type of hair tie, as they are not permitted in UK passport photos. It’s best to keep the photo as simple and natural as possible to meet the requirements.
What’s the best hairstyle for a passport photo?
Any hairstyle is permitted as long as the face is not obstructed and no shadow is cast on any part of the face. Fancy a mohawk? Go for it, as it doesn’t break any passport photo rules.
Headscarf in passport photo–is it permitted?
Head coverings are only permitted for religious or medical reasons. All headwear must not obscure the face so that all facial features are clearly visible in the passport photo.
Can you curl your hair for passport photos?
Yes, you can. Any hairstyle is fine so long as it does not cover the eyes or cast a shadow on any part of the subject’s face.
Are hair clips allowed in passport photos?
No, they are not. Hair accessories of any kind cannot be visible in your UK passport photo. However, if the hair clip or tie (or whatever accessory you choose) is not visible in the photo, it can be used to adjust one’s hair during the photo shoot.
Can hair cover your forehead in a passport photo?
Yes, it can. Provided no hair is situated across the eyes, and the hair casts no shadow on any part of the subject’s face. Additionally, the subject’s eyebrows cannot be obscured by the hair.
-  https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports/photo-requirements
-  https://www.gov.uk/photos-for-passports
Having graduated with a History degree from the University of Birmingham, Sam has proven writing experience in biometric photography articles, marketing and events. Born in the UK, he has travelled extensively both nationally and internationally. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, cycling and skateboarding.